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Natural Gas STAR Program

Estimates of Methane Emissions by Sector in the United States

The EPA estimates methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry in its annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. Charts summarizing the 2017 methane emissions by sector in the oil and gas industry are presented below.

Overview

Aggregate methane emission estimates by the major oil and natural gas sectors in the United States are presented in the chart below.

 

Segment Percentage
Oil Production 18
Gas Production 54
Processing 6
Transmission and Storage 16
Distribution 6

Production

The Production sector accounts for 72% of the total methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry. The chart below shows the distribution of the top emission sources in this sector.

 

Emission Source Percentage
Gathering and Boosting Stations 38
Pneumatic Controllers 32
Offshore Platforms 6
Chemical Injection Pumps 3
Completions and Workovers 2
Liquids Unloading 2
Tanks 1
Other 16

Processing

The Processing sector accounts for 6% of the total methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry. The chart below shows the distribution of the top emission sources in this sector.

 

Emission Source Percentage
Gas Engines 55
Reciprocating Compressors 14
Blowdowns/Venting 8
Centrifugal Compressors 8
Other 15

Transmission

The Transmission and Storage sector accounts for 16% of the total methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry. The chart below shows the distribution of the top emission sources in this sector.

 

Emission Source Percentage
Reciprocating Compressors 35
Pipelines 14
Station Fugitives 11
Engines 11
Station Venting 10
Centrifugal Compressors 9
Pneumatic Controllers 4
Other 6

Distribution

The Distribution sector accounts for 6% of the total methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry. The chart below shows the distribution of the top emission sources in this sector.

 

Emission Source Percentage
Residential Meters 17
Mishaps (Dig-ins) 14
Commercial/Industrial Meters 12
Mains - Unprotected Steel 10
Mains - Protected Steel 10
Services - Unprotected Steel 9
Mains - Cast Iron 6
Other 22

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